National Health’s final line-up (1979-80) is well documented in live recordings, but this one in Vanersborg on 2nd March 1980 is made extra special by being Alan Gowen’s last performance with the band, and his penultimate public appearance (he played an improvised set in Bracknell with Hugh Hopper and Nigel Morris the following September). Sadly the tape cuts off before the end of “Toad Of Toad Hall” so we don’t have the last notes played (and perhaps there was an encore as well), but this is a great performance and captured in fine sound. Of special interest is the inclusion of the only new piece, Phil’s “A Fleeting Glance” (introduced as “An Audience Of One”), which had been rehearsed but not played on the 1979 North American tour. It would of course appear on the “Before A Word Is Said” album by Alan, Phil, Richard Sinclair and Trevor Tomkins. (The performance here is the same one used on the video made available on this site some time ago.) NH quietly went their separate ways after returning from this Scandinavian tour, with Phil and Pip attempting to get a new band (Flying Ducks) together with Richard Sinclair and James Lascelles, the keyboard player from Global Village Trucking Company, John Greaves working on a proposed follow-up to “Kew. Rhone.” with Peter Blegvad and Alan Gowen recording “Two Rainbows Daily” with Hugh Hopper.
Phil Miller – guitar
Alan Gowen – electric piano, synth
John Greaves – bass, crooning
Pip Pyle – drums
Yes, it was 2 march, 1980. At the Theatre in Vänersborg. 215 people were at the show. I was one of the arrangers.
I haven’t listened through this yet, but as sole roadie and sound mixer on this tour, I note comments about excellent sound quality. However I can claim no credit, as I remember on a few gigs, certainly in the Finnish leg of the tour, audience members coming back to the desk to plead with me to turn it down, for me to point in international sign language at all PA faders on zero (apart from when a vocal mic was required) – a certain exuberance of all on 11 emanated from the backline alone. Wild boys!
Another memory was an of attempt to refuse Phil service at the smorgasbord on a ferry, in case “bits fell out of his hair”. Not to mention out of his legendary cardigan I guess. Scandinavian politeness from the manager won the day, and Phil could scoff, hopefully demolishing everything in sight to compensate.
Another memory was of an overnight drive (maybe on the previous Scandi tour) to within 40 miles of the Arctic Circle, but no-one turned on the Aurora for us. Boo!
Hey Rick, reading your comment reminded me of this story. When Phil told it he said they were afraid little animals would fall out of his hair. It is hard to judge which would have been the most insulting! Love to C Hermx
Is there a trick to make the download work? The folder contains no files and when I click on the folder my player only plays the first track…..
Hi Paul, sorry you’re having trouble. Clicking the download button will download a zipped folder to your device. This may need unzipping first depending on your system, but I have checked and the files are all there.
Thank you so much! Fantastic performance.
muchas gracias . excelente recital, y suena bastante bien.
Beautiful – and with so much new material! Thanks to all involved in putting this online. Your constant work is massively appreciated.
Great recording! Thank you for sharing it.
Some days later I saw them appear at the famous “Rackis” pub in Uppsala. What a joy.
Thanks for another fantastic concert and for your constant work!
Many thanks for this fine show. So this is from Vänersborg on March 2, 1980?
Yes I think so Joerg. The place name was not clear but the date is correct.
still – you may want to fix the year, clearly NOT 1908…